My arm went through a window and I received a deep laceration in my forearm near elbow. Stitches were given to the tendon, membrane and muscle. My arm has been in a splint for 5 days, fingers are still swollen. I have 90% sensitivity in my fingers but they are hard to move. Will surgery be required and can i expect 80-90% mobility regained in fingers? I have kept the arm elevated and protected.
That depends upon exactly what was lacerated. Glass lacerations at this level are always of concern. If it was tendons at that level, then they should get back to functioning well, with occupational therapy. The muscle bellies will heal with scar tissue that does not stretch or contract. This can affect strength sometimes.
You state that you have had the tendons and muscles repaired already. That is a surgical procedure, even if it was done under local anesthesia. The concern is as to why you have difficulty moving the fingers. Is it because then tendons were repaired and you were told not to stress them till they had healed? Is it due to pain? Or, is it that they just won't move even though you try?
If it is the last case, it may be due to a laceration of a nerve (which tells the muscles to contract). Was the doctor who repaired that laceration concerned about a possible nerve injury? Since you have decreased sensation in the hand, a nerve injury is a possibility.
Did the doctor recommend that you see an orthopedic surgeon or hand surgeon? If so, I would recommend you go. If you continue to not be able to move the fingers, then you would really need to see someone. If it is a nerve injury, the sooner it is repaired the better.
However, if there is no nerve involvement, most tendon lacerations do very well. Occupational therapy is needed, so that function is regained as soon as possible and also to protect the repair while the rehab is progressing. Putting too much stress across a tendon repair too soon can cause it to stretch or rupture. But, going too slowly can cause the tendons to scar down and not glide as they should.
Elevating the hand is a must to decrease the swelling. But, not moving the fingers will also contribute to the swelling. Again, without knowing the exact injury, it is hard to give specific recommendations. If the tendon repair is solid, then passive motion (using the other hand to move the fingers) is excellent in decreasing swelling and to keep the joints from getting stiff. Again, an occupational therapist would be great here.
So, if you were told everything is fine, but you still can't move the fingers within the next couple of days, I would probably see an orthopedic surgeon or a hand surgeon, to find out why they are not moving. If they are starting to move as the pain and swelling decreases, then an appropriate therapy program should get you back to full function.